Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shame

I have been thinking about this post for quite some time. I remember growing up and how heavy shame was. Everytime I did something I knew was wrong, it ate me alive inside, no matter how hard I tried to cover it up. A lie did not assuage my guilt. A manipulation did not make my palms any less sweaty. Flat out denial did not make it easier for me to stand for the invitation song on Sunday morning and NOT go forward. Shame was so heavy! It made looking in my parent's eyes almost impossible. It made breathing difficult and sleeping a chore. It became so stifling that I finally had to confess just so I could survive. Most of us can identify with this. But it seems to me that we have changed. Our society and its shame response is so different than it was even twenty years ago.
First of all, it takes a lot more to make us feel ashamed. Nothing is private, nothing is embarrassing, nothing is off limits. Is it because society has shaped our consciences? There was a time when there were public topics and private topics and everyone respected that, or at least most people did. We behaved in public decently and respectably and we never ever talked about certain subjects--we would have been too ashamed. There was a time when our clothing was important. We were ashamed if our clothing was dirty, ill fitting or showed our underwear.
There was a time when we cared about our reputations. We protected our family name and our image as well as that of our children. We didn't lie, we didn't cheat and we didn't steal. We paid our bills and our taxes. We worked hard and we didn't cohabitate outside of marriage. We would have been ashamed to live otherwise.
So I see us doing all the things that twenty years ago were considered shameful. We do them without a second thought and they have become commonplace. And so I wonder what does it take to shame us now? Maybe we have become so adept at taking grace for granted that we no longer feel shame. Perhaps we have convinced ourselves that our God is a God of love (and that He is) and that as a God of love, He only wants us to be happy and He understands how important it is to . . . . (fill in the blank) and that He will be merciful and gracious and we will not be punished. Once we convince ourselves of this, it becomes pretty easy to continue in our shameful behaviors. And since the church has become so "pc" we know that our brothers and sisters will not interfere in our lives.
Am I the only one who is disturbed about this? Am I seeing too much negative and not enough positive? There are times when I feel I can relate to the prophets of old----seeing a dangerous trend in God's chosen people. I am concerned for us----I worry about us when we begin to cover or stifle our shame until that feeling is gone. Shame is a good thing--unpleasant yes, but it is shame, a guilty conscience that is the catalyst to repentance. So one must wonder if we become a people who feel no shame will we become an unrepentant nation?
Ephesians tells us that we are children of light and should walk as children of light. We are told that there are secret shameful things that are done in darkness and that they are so shameful they should not even be spoken of in the light. We are the chosen ones--the ones picked by God to be different--to live by different standards------standards that are higher than those of the world. We are the ones who are shamed by sin and because of that shame, we try to stay as far away from it as possible. We are the ones whose lives are filled with gratitude for the grace and mercy of our Father. We no longer take grace for granted.
Once we have lost the ability to blush, we are no longer different from the world. We are living below our calling. Shame on us!

blessings
neva

7 Comments:

Anonymous hmphz said...

just wanted to say hi, pleased to have found your blog.

6:49 AM  
Blogger jel said...

what a comeback sis!


glad to C this post!

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Lisa L said...

I agree, we don't feel shame or guilt anymore ... it's such a postmodern thing.

10:45 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

I am preaching through the Sermon on the Mount, just got to the ...show mercy verse yesterday.
(I preach real slowly)
Part of what I talked about was a kind of insipid mercy of man that weakens and perverts the true mercy and grace of God.

I agree with the 'pc' being part of the problem.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right! In a time when we should be most ashamed, we feel none.

Great post-glad to see you back


Pat

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Neva, this is a thought provoking post.
Yes, shame on us and we shouldn't be taking grace for granted.

Martin.

3:10 PM  
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